Trade research

Date of publication: August 1, 1986


Trade research is a collective term for a series of specially developed techniques serving the needs and objectives of marketing management at the various stages of the distribution network. Just as the elementary methods of consumer research have been adapted and improved to gear them more specifically to particular problems, so the basic techniques of research among the distributive trades have been refined from the original to meet current demands. This chapter deals with the basic techniques and illustrates a few of the applications and developments that have occurred. It makes no attempt to be comprehensive. Of all the expenditure on trade research, by far the most is spent on retail and wholesale audits; the remainder is probably divided evenly between distribution checks and ad hoc research at the point of sale, in particular surveys among the retail trade. Almost inevitably, therefore, the emphasis in this chapter will be upon trade audits.

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